You were forced to work a lot to reach a milestone set by someone else. It could be for a number of reasons and often times it’s because someone made a mistake that these things happen (or the person in charge is an ass or an incompetent ass). You put all things on hold, dig in and put in the hours. Depending on how long this lasts , days, weeks or even months. Your physical and mental health starts deteriorating.
Your reward? Some mention on Slack. Pat on the back. Honorable mention in the weekly update. You get everything except compensation for your sacrifice. It is natural to feel a sense of joy and gratitude when seeing this, but you should not as it most like means you have been taken advantage or.

You ended up getting the short end of the stick here. In exchange for your own heath you got praise (while it should have been praise minus the p). Whoever needed you to perform this transaction most likely got a bigger reward. If it was a bad sell, often times the sales person still got their pay.

There are of course potential upsides in you becoming noticed, perhaps even getting promoted or receiving a raise down the line. You will get the appreciation of your peers, which is nice.

What you will not get is time to heal. Time to catch up on the things in your life that was sacrificed. Time to recover physically from the toll it took (some places you get time off to compensate for overtime, others not).

When you receive that praise. Don’t mistake that as a reward, it’s the documentation that you got the worse part of a deal someone else profited off of. You should not be happy, but angry. Your learnings should be: Never Again!

Wage labour is the transaction of someone renting your body in exchange for you applying your knowledge. When forced (and forced here could mean peer pressure, “the company’s future is at stake”, etc) to sacrifice more of you without actual real compensation you are giving away parts of you for free.

It is on the privileged to make the change happen

Yes, this is not quite that simple when the employer holds your families faith in their hands. When your stay in a country depends on your employment. If your income is used to support family and loved ones who can’t work. There are so many thing which makes this difficult.

The people I’m addressing with this post are the people with the privileges. We are the ones who can stand up and help others not have to do this deal with the devil.

We have little / nothing to loose and we should work hard against cultures of hollow compensation for heroics.